Charlotte Shipley

Field and Forage, Centre Farm, East Yorkshire

After moving back to the family farm in East Yorkshire 10 years ago Charlotte and Chris Shipley implemented a number of changes, working alongside Chris’s parent’s Margaret and Patrick, which would ensure a sustainable long-term future for the enterprise.

One area of focus was the setting up of a beef business selling direct to the public. They now rear pedigree Belted Galloways and British Blue, Simmental and Limousin crosses. The aim is to ensure a consistently good price for their beef and to satisfy local demand for quality traceable meat.

The couple have added to their product range inspired by Charlotte’s South African family links.

Firstly, they invested in equipment from South Africa to produce beef biltong using topside, silverside, thick flank and fillet and a home-produced dry spice mix. The meat is dried for 24 hours in an ultraviolet cabinet.

They then developed a recipe for Boerewors, a South African farmer’s sausage made from minced beef, British red wine and various spices.

Beef products

Initially, the beef was sold at farmers’ markets and through a website, but after the closure of Driffield farmer’s market Charlotte joined forces with grower, Emma Hobbs to establish Field and Forage, a catering company focused on locally sourced, home-grown food.

They invested in a food truck and with customer trends shifting away from silver service to a quirkier type of catering now provide food at festivals, parties, promotional events and weddings often working alongside other local businesses. Home-produced beef is always at the heart of each menu.

Fuelled by word of mouth and social media the business expanding rapidly and with numerous weddings already booked for next year work on a new catering kitchen and more cattle housing are underway on the farm.